‘This house gonna change my life forever’ - Kingston resident delighted after getting two-bedroom dwelling
Tower Street resident Marlene Bennett is one of the latest beneficiaries of the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP).
Prime Minister Andrew Holness last week handed the 62-year-old woman the keys to a two-bedroom unit in the Kingston Central area. Not surprisingly, Bennett is over the moon. She has not started occupying the dwelling when THE STAR visited last Friday, but said getting the keys represents a new beginning for her and her 84-year-old mother, Carmen Brown.
"This house gonna change my life forever because we can sleep comfortable at nights. Mi happy suh til. I suffer from arthritis, so it kinda hard for me to work, but I am going to try and do something because I have bills to pay now. I am trying to build a wall before I move in," Bennett said.
She plans to re-polish her furniture before moving them in the space "because we don't want the place look shabby".
"Mi want mi mother to be comfortable until God ready for her. Mi just glad say mi madda a guh get to live somewhere new," she said.
The NSHP is a government initiative that delivers free housing units to some of the country's vulnerable citizens.
Bennett currently lives in a dilapidated board structure on Tower Street. She said the building is an accident waiting to happen. She said they could not afford to repair the dwelling or live elsewhere.
"Where the house is now, I use to have a shop but a storm passed and it began crumbling to the point where it look like it want to drop on somebody. Every minute piece of it gone. Where I live now, all the room a drop down on us. It really use to worry mi because mi don't want anything to do mi madda. We fret a night time especially, when shot a fire, and is board house suh we always a fret and a wonder if bullets gonna fly in on us. But mi just couldn't afford to fix it because mi nah work," she said.
Earlier this year she got a glimmer of hope when one of her friends told her about the NSHP. She made contact with her member of parliament, Donovan Williams, who promised to assist. The house was built in three months.
"I believe in the MP and I saw others who get the house, but when I come and see dem start build, I couldn't sleep the way mi happy and excited. Mi just keep on a thank God to come through for me. When mi madda see it she tell mi seh she know God would help mi because mi heart too good, because mi always a help people all when mi nuh have it, " a delighted Bennett said.
While thanking Prime Minister Andrew Holness for her house, Bennett is longing for the day when more less fortunate people can have a decent place to call home.
"A lot of people would want to get a house but dem really can't afford it suh if dem could just make it little more easier and affordable then there would be more homeowners," Bennett said.